Open Colleges

Skills needed to be a Youth Worker

by Emily Gorsky
Posted: October 27, 2019

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Working with young people can be one of the most rewarding career choices you make. As a Youth Worker, you have the influence to shape a young person’s future, for the better. Many youth workers are drawn to this profession because they’ve had to overcome challenges in their own childhood and have a desire to mentor future generations. Others are highly compassionate individuals and see potential in young people who don’t have the means or support to achieve their own goals.

If you’re looking for a highly fulfilling career focused on assisting young people with their emotional, social and financial problems, a career as a youth worker might be the right pathway for you. To find out more, in this article, we cover some of the required skills for youth work and the best qualifications that will help improve your chances of getting a job in this field.

Top skills required for Youth Work

As a youth worker, you’ll engage with young people daily and identify any problems in an effort to resolve them. This requires a range of skills including:

  1. Communication skills—It’s important to have good verbal communication skills and listening skills, allowing you to relate to the individual you are talking to and counsel them through active listening and a non-judgmental approach.
  2. Collaboration—The ability to work well with others is essential when you’re working through social, emotional and financial problems and finding solutions collectively. You’ll also be working with governments, institutions and agencies to offer holistic solutions for young people’s specific cases.
  3. Knowledge of psychology—A baseline knowledge of human psychology that can be implemented in your work is highly valuable.
  4. Rapport—The ability to build rapport with young people is essential so that you can engage with them and build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.
  5. Sensitivity and patience—You may deal with individuals who have experienced serious emotional and physical trauma, which can affect their behaviour towards others (including you). Having sensitivity, compassion and patience will help you build your relationships even in the most trying of situations.
  6. Attention to detail—This job requires you to be thorough and have strong attention to detail as you’re ultimately handling people’s lives and their personal cases.
  7. Technological knowledge—Even though most of the skills in this list are knowledge-based, it’s also crucial to have the ability to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device, as these systems are often used to track progress.

How to become a Youth Worker?

Open Colleges’ youth worker qualification CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work can give you not only the skills but the qualification you need to make a real difference to young people. This course will teach you how to look after the holistic welfare of teenagers and youth, including their safety, emotional health and social dynamics.

You’ll even get the opportunity to put your learning into practice with a work placement. This can be somewhere of your choice, but we also have an exciting partnership with Action for Children and the Aged (ACATA), giving you the opportunity to use everything you’ve learned in the course whilst volunteering in Fiji and participating in a range of activities. Here you’ll get to work closely with and assist young people in high schools and in the local community.

As someone who helps young people reach their full potential, this career can be highly rewarding. If you’re interested in working with young people and making a difference in their lives, visit our course page now to learn more about CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work.


Emily Gorsky

Emily is a freelance Writer focusing on career, education and personal finance. She strongly believes in living a balanced life. Her mission is to inspire others to engage in self-motivated learning and build their own path to success.

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